After the apple, the banana is the most popular type of fruit in the Netherlands. They are very filling and nutritious, but they also have a disadvantage: one minute they are still green in the fruit bowl, the next they are brown. With these tips you can better control the ripening process.

The fact that bananas become yellower and softer is part of the natural process of ripening. That is what Hans de Wild, specialist in the field of fresh products at Wageningen University, says. “The ends of the banana often stay green the longest. If the banana is completely yellow, brown freckles may appear on the skin, but that has nothing to do with rot. These bananas are ripe and can still be tasty if you like a softer, riper fruit structure.”

“One likes very ripe bananas and the other likes them more when they are just ripe,” says Anne Lutgerink, spokesperson for the Nutrition Center. “If a banana has a brown spot, you can just cut it out.”

After the apple, the banana is the most popular type of fruit in the Netherlands. They are very filling and nutritious, but they also have a disadvantage: one minute they are still green in the fruit bowl, the next they are brown. With these tips you can better control the ripening process.

The fact that bananas become yellower and softer is part of the natural process of ripening. That is what Hans de Wild, specialist in the field of fresh products at Wageningen University, says. “The ends of the banana often stay green the longest. If the banana is completely yellow, brown freckles may appear on the skin, but that has nothing to do with rot. These bananas are ripe and can still be tasty if you like a softer, riper fruit structure.”

“One likes very ripe bananas and the other likes them more when they are just ripe,” says Anne Lutgerink, spokesperson for the Nutrition Center. “If a banana has a brown spot, you can just cut it out.”

“Even if you lift a bunch of bananas by the stems, the bananas can bend a bit due to their weight and turn brown or black at the stem”

Hans de Wild, specialist in the field of fresh products
If you handle a banana roughly, such as if the bananas are in your grocery bag, the skin may turn brown or black. “The bananas that are already a bit yellower and softer are especially sensitive to this,” says De Wild. The bananas will then arrive home nicely, but a few hours later they don’t look very attractive anymore. Therefore, handle bananas with care.

“Even if you lift a bunch of bananas by the stems, the bananas can buckle a bit due to their weight and turn brown or black at the stem, or even tear open,” says De Wild.

Do not put bananas in the fridge
Bananas do not tolerate the cold well, Lutgerink knows. “The refrigerator is therefore not a good place to store your bananas. Bananas and other exotic fruits quickly suffer from ‘cold spoilage’: if they are stored at a temperature below 7 degrees, the cells break, lose moisture and are prone to rotting. The taste also flattens out if you keep them in the fridge. Keep them in a dry, cool, dark place, but not in the fridge.”

“It is best to store the bananas on the fruit bowl, at a temperature above 14 degrees”, adds De Wild. “At higher temperatures, the ripening and aging goes faster. As long as they are in the fridge, there is usually little damage to be seen. But after heating, the skin can turn dull and grayish.”

Bananas can be kept well outside the refrigerator for three to seven days, says Lutgerink. “You can keep them good for longer by wrapping the top of a truss with cling film. It is best to keep them separate from other fruit in the fruit bowl, unless you want to ripen fruit faster. Bananas produce a lot of ethylene. This substance promotes the ripening. Other types of fruit are sensitive to this and can spoil faster if they are on the same fruit bowl.”

Freeze your bananas
“You can also freeze bananas, then they will remain good for eight to twelve months,” says Lutgerink. “Peel the bananas and cut them into pieces or slices. Then freeze them in a container or bag. After freezing, bananas lose some flavor. You can then use them to make ice cream, or use it thawed in banana bread or smoothie. You can also make a puree out of it and freeze it as a fruit snack for your baby.”

Is your banana black? Then he is no longer good. “You can quickly recognize spoilage by looking closely, smelling or tasting it. To prevent waste, you can also buy single bananas in the supermarket. These are often left behind because people quickly reach for a truss.”

Categories: Food

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